Cropredy mourns a compere and friend
MUSICIANS at next week’s Cropredy Convention are set to perform tributes to compere and actor Geoff Hughes.
The Coronation Street and Keeping Up Appearances star compered Fairport’s Cropredy Convention over the past few years.
A festival spokesman said there would be warm tributes to the Liverpool-born actor at the festival, which runs from August 9 to 11.
Fairport Convention fiddler Ric Sanders said: “Geoff loved Fairport, and we loved him.
“As anyone who met him at Cropredy will know, Geoff was warm and welcoming to everyone – a kind and generous man with a big heart.
“He was also a great talent and has left a body of work which will endure and give pleasure to many in years to come.
“The phrase ‘larger than life’ could have been invented to describe Geoff, and our lives will never be quite the same without him.”
Mr Hughes – who played Eddie Yeats in the soap in the 1970s and 1980s – died on Friday night after a battle with prostate cancer.
The 68-year-old had long been a fan of the folk festival but was not due to take the microphone this year because of his illness.
Fellow festival compere Bobby Bragg said: “Geoff loved Fairport, and Cropredy was his favourite weekend of the year.”
The Bloxham resident said: “He would turn up at our house on the Wednesday in his Winnebago, next stop would be Sainsbury’s to stock up on booze, bread and beans and head off with that beaming smile to his Fairport family.
“When I last saw him about a month ago, he had accepted the inevitable with great courage and spirit, he squeezed my hand and said ‘that’s showbiz Braggy, let’s get on with it’.”
He added: “I could never fill Geoff’s shoes as compere on the Cropredy Stage, but I will just get on with it, and try my best.”
Mr Hughes appeared in the 1960s shows Z-Cars and The Likely Lads and voiced Paul McCartney in cartoon Yellow Submarine.
Alongside comedy turns as Onslow in Keeping Up Appearances and Twiggy in The Royale Family, Mr Hughes also made appearances in Doctor Who, Casualty and Boon.
He lived on the Isle of Wight with wife Sue.
Shuttle buses will be running between Banbury’s railway and bus stations and Cropredy throughout the Fairport Cropredy Convention next week.
The service, operated by Stagecoach , will start running hourly from the railway station at 9.15am on Thursday with the last bus at 6.15pm. There will be a late-night service from the Brasenose Arms in Cropredy back to Banbury at 12.30am.
Services will run at the same times on Friday but on Saturday will start at 8.15am, again with a late-night bus back to Banbury. On Sunday, there will be buses from the Brasenose Arms into Banbury hourly from 8.30am to 11.30am.
For full details of fares and timetables, see stagecoachbus.com/oxfordshire